Tag Archives: kosovo

Organ Harvesting in Kosovo

It’s such a common urban legend that it’s almost the stuff of jokes.  But organ theft is, apparently, alive and well, and right here in what’s loosely called “Europe.”

You won't remember a thing

Carla del Ponte caused a minor stir a couple of years ago when she alleged that the Kosovar Liberartion Army had been secretly harvesting organs from captured Serb war prisoners.  Her allegation was ultimately found to be lacking in hard proof, but, as with many things in the Balkans, anything is — sadly — possible.  Now, according to the New York Times, seven people have been charged in a similar illegal rings.  It wasn’t Serbs POWs that were operated on, but the impoverished lured from Istanbul, Moscow, Moldova and Kazakhstan.  A prominent surgeon and a senior health ministry official were involved.  More disturbing is the possibility that the ring goes much further than just Kosovo.  The article points to substantial complicity of Israel and South Africa, and indeed Israel may be the nexus of the case.  The disturbing implication is just how very far from an idea of “Europe” Kosovo still is, almost three years after its declaration of independence.  This blog would never argue for a return to Serb rule for Kosovo, but the fact that it’s institutions are somewhat lacking is pretty easy to see, and this is made worse by its “Kosovo farà da sè” attitude. Although Kosovo is less ill-conceived as a statelet than nearby Bosnia, it is clearly barely ready to do much of anything alone, and EULEX’s mission will be long and hard there.  But unlike neighboring Macedonia, which seems to be healing, Kosovo itself seems in dire need of some essential transplants.


"This is for you, mom!"

FINAL UPDATE: I can’t really say it any better than the Guardian does here.

Belgrade’s Vreme ran this story today.  There was a rather choice photo of masked Ivan Bogdanov burning an Albanian flag; it’s since been replaced so I leave you with this video that tells the story even better.

Clearly burning the Albanian flag has everything to do with winning a match against Italy.  The message is hardly hidden, though — the t-shirt reads “Northern Chetniks” — which I’d wager refers more to the looting murderers of the 1990s wars than to the WW2-era Royalists.  And this Ultra would probably be proud to tell you that, if he weren’t currently in jail in Genoa and pathetically blaming this ugly nationalism on his sick mother.  Please.

To all those naive enough to say, “politics aside, what a cool Ultra!”, I say, you are deeply mistaken if you think you can de-politicize this.  These “Ultras” hung up signs comparing Kosovo to Palestine, and Bogdanov is a member of a group named after the year that the Serbs lost the Battle of Kosovo — ushering in over 600 years of victimhood that opportunistic leaders in their recent past have used to fuel toxic nationalism that, guess what, led to the first wars on the European continent since the Second World War.   If you want to be boneheaded enough to glamorize pointless violence and destruction, and forcing the cancellation of a normal sporting event, be my guest.  But please don’t suggest that there is an apolitical dimension to this.  There isn’t; suggesting otherwise is an unwelcome parade of ignorance.